Filing for an SR22 car insurance certificate is one type of penalty you may have imposed on you for committing offenses while behind the wheel. The certificate is a way to force high-risk drivers, both car owners and non-owners, to carry car insurance that is in line with the state-imposed minimum coverage requirement for protecting themselves and others on the road.
Depending on the instructions attached to your charge, the SR22 car insurance policy may need to remain attached to your policy for a while, typically one to five years. During this time, the state will closely monitor your driving habits. During this time, ensure you are a responsible driver and don't let your coverage lapse. If not, you may find yourself facing more severe penalties, including the following:
1. Extension of Penalty Period
Committing further driving offenses while you have the SR22 car insurance certificate may mean starting the penalty period over again from scratch. Even if you were in the last year of your imposed SR22 period, you would have to start from the beginning and carry the certificate for another one to five years.
2. Suspension of Driving Privileges
The SR22 car insurance certificate is a driving penalty, but you can return to the road even with this penalty. You aren't allowed to drive as you please and must be intentional about maintaining good driving habits. Failing to do this and being found guilty of committing further driving offenses while you have the certificate could mean the state will suspend your driving privileges altogether.
3. Higher Premiums
Activating an SR22 car insurance certificate for the first time will trigger your insurer to raise your premiums. Now throw in some more driving offenses while you have the certificate and you will be making matters worse as far as your high-risk driver profile goes. Based on this, your insurer may further increase your premiums, and auto insurance can get quite costly for you.
4. Policy Non-Renewal
In the face of further driving offenses, the insurer offering you the SR22 car insurance certificate may decide to drop you for being very high risk. The insurer will inform the DMV, and you will need to refile and obtain an SR22 from another insurer immediately. This will leave you with some shopping around to do as not all insurers provide SR22.
For your own safety and that of others, you have the responsibility to keep your driving habits in check. As highlighted, when you have an SR22 car insurance, responsible driving becomes even more critical so you can avoid several penalties. For more information, contact a car insurance company near you.